Thursday, July 13, 2006

A city of tension

So, it's possible Phoenix may hit national headlines soon with the Southwest equivalent of the D.C. sniper. Unfortunately, right now, people think if the heat doesn't get to you, a cold-blooded killer will. Even worse, Phoenix seems to have inherited two psychos for the price of one. There are two sickos running around, terrorizing people. One is a "Serial Shooter." This person started out shooting dogs, horses and even a burro. Then he/she graduated to people. This crime series, now adding up to 34 incidents, includes five homicides and several people getting wounded while walking or waiting for the bus late at night.

The other is called the "Baseline Rapist" or "Baseline Killer." This guy, a black male, started out robbing and sexually assaulting women. Then he graduated to assaulting and/or abucting his victims before killing them.

I know some information since I covered one of the press conferences on the Baseline cases. Alas, the police are remaining tight-lipped about the physical evidence linking the crimes. Sigh...everyone in the city is on high alert. You can sense the paranoia in the air. Unfortunately, I live in the part of central Phoenix where many of the Baseline Killer's crimes happened. I try not to spend too much time worrying. After all, there's a difference between being careful and being paranoid. I don't go out at night very much to begin with. If I do, it's to meet someone at their home or in a public place. No stopping at a gas station or convenience store. Don't think there's much more I can do beyond that. Cross your fingers that they catch at least one of these whack jobs soon.

A funny aside: the quickie article I wrote on that press conference generated some play. Someone from either FOX news or a FOX affiliate called wanting me to talk about the case on TV. Luckily, they called on a Saturday when I wasn't there. It's also good since I only covered the conference. I am by no means an expert on the case. Still, it was funny. The idea of being on TV makes me want to go into a bomb shelter.

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